Middletown officials introduce $79 million municipal budget for 2019

MIDDLETOWN – Members of the Middletown Township Committee have introduced a $79.92 million budget to fund the operation of the municipality during 2019.

During a meeting on April 1, Mayor Tony Perry, Deputy Mayor Anthony Fiore, Committeeman Rick Hibell, Committeeman Kevin Settembrino and Committeewoman Patricia Snell voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the spending plan.

The committee has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for May 6.

Residents may ask questions about or comment on the spending plan during that May 6 meeting.  The committee members may adopt the budget following the public hearing.

In 2018, the municipal budget totaled $77.05 million and was supported through the collection of $56.72 million in taxes from Middletown’s residential and commercial property owners. The total tax levy includes library tax. Other revenue in the budget included $6.76 million from surplus funds (savings), $6 million in state aid and $4.16 million in local revenues.

The 2019 budget totals $79.92 million and will be supported through the collection of $57.85 million in taxes from Middletown’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue in the budget includes $7.15 million from surplus.

In 2018, the municipal tax rate was 48.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $423,427 paid about $2,070 in municipal taxes in 2018.

The estimated 2019 municipal tax rate will be 47.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Middletown is now assessed at $444,180. The owner of that home will pay about $2,114 in municipal taxes this year.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill. Middletown property owners also pay school taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Significant appropriations in the 2019 budget include group health insurance benefits, $10.11 million; police salaries and wages, $14.56 million; fire hydrants, $810,000; Department of Public Works – Salaries and Wages, $2.25 million; Parks – Salaries and Wages, $1.12 million; maintenance of public property, $711,329; and Recreation – Salaries and Wages, $463,374.

According to Middletown’s website, “The proposed 2019 municipal budget includes additional funding for more than 70 parks in Middletown’s 16 neighborhoods, as well as an increase of $470,000 to the capital improvement fund, which requires no debt, that will provide the town the ability to complete more capital projects. It also covers the approximate 3.5% increase to maintain and improve the township’s 375 miles of roads.”

A “Tax Dollar Receipt” calculator will be included on the municipality’s website. The online calculator will allow residents “to see penny for penny where tax dollars go,” according to the township.